Ramallah: Marking 99 years since British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour promised the Jews a homeland in Palestine, dozens of Palestinian high school students Wednesday held a protest sit-in outside the British Council building in Ramallah demanding an official British apology for that promise.
The students also handed a British official a letter calling on Britain to apologize for the harm the 2 November 1917 Balfour Declaration had done to the Palestinian people, particularly their uprooting and dispersion from their homes and land in Palestine when Israel was created in 1948, according to Iktifa Nabali, director of Ramallah Secondary School for Girls.
She said the students also demanded that Britain rectifies its wrongdoing by recognizing the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and provide political and financial support toward ending the occupation.
Official Palestinian institutions and non-governmental organizations are planning yearlong activities up to the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration next year focusing on Britain’s role in the catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people since Balfour promised British Jewish leaders a homeland for the Jews in Palestine at the expense of its indigenous Palestinian population.
Foreign Minister Riyad Malki urged British officials not to take part in celebrations pro-Israel groups are planning to hold in support of the Declaration.
In addition, spokesman of Palestinian Presidency Nabil Abu Rudeina blasted the Balfour Declaration and called it "the crime of the century."